Two graduates of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) program have shared their success following the interventions under this initiative.
Kristine Mae Flores of Khit’s Homemade Products and Sofia Tricia Zosa of Sofia’s Home Baked Goodies are currently doing good in marketing their products since their graduation from KMME last December 5, 2016. They are among the 232 KMME graduates, as of December 2017.
The meat processor started her business on July 07, 2014. She narrated that the trainings and seminars she availed of from DTI and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) have helped her improve her pork longganisa, pork tocino, pork embutido, chicken longganisa, chicken tocino, chickenembutido. Some of them also gave a boost to her skills in running her business.
“From then on, I applied all the learning in running my business. By doing so, I have really felt the difference,” Flores said.
She further noted that she has been able to slowly build the confidence needed in marketing her products. Her network of potential customers has also increased because her co–participants in the KMME program have become her customers as well. Only after five months since graduation, she added new products – chicken and pork tocino.
She said the Mentor ME program of DTI was very timely and a blessing for her.
“I am indeed so lucky to be one of the mentees of the pioneering batch of 2016, which nurtured me with the right mindset and the business skills to help me manage my business well,” she said.
For her, the program is like a short course on entrepreneurship,yet a very comprehensive one. Particularly, she learned the technical definitions, concepts and principles about running a business through lectures by experts and successful entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile, the Business Improvement Plan (BIP) presentation,as a requirement for graduation, has given her a clear picture of her target market. She is about to celebrate her fourthanniversary in the business with new markets and an increase of 75 percent in her production.
“I would like to emphasize among the young aspiring entrepreneurs that as long as you have dreams and you believe that they will happen, in God’s grace, they will surely happen at the right time. Dream big and aim high!” she said.
On the other hand, Zosa started her online business at the age of 16. She described it as accidental since it began when an “online friend” asked her to deliver 100 pieces of cupcakes.
“It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, actually,” she said.
She became the fresh trainer for DTI-Davao Region’s kakanin and pastry classes. On the onset of her participation to the KMME program, she opened her first café in Davao, applying all the learning from Mentor ME. After the graduation, she was able to supply to one of her mentors, Mary Ann M.Monrtemayor’s Habi at Kape snack bar at Abreeza Mall and Villa Margarita Hotel.
For her, Mentor ME is like a modern “bayanihan,” a helping hand and a great support system for fresh entrepreneurs. Just like her favourite quotation that says “Continue to soar high and be an inspiration to the new mentees,” Zosa is determined to make things bigger for her.
Flores and Zosa are just barely a year out of their KMMEgraduation, however, they have already levelled up in theirbusinesses, as proved by the new markets they have developedan expansion of their facilities. ♦